Symbolical Design of the Royal Master Degree

The following monitorial instructions on the Royal Master degree appear on pp. 13-15 of “Cryptic Masonry: A Manual of the Council” by Albert G. Mackey.

The ceremonies of the degree of Royal Master are very brief and simple—briefer and simpler, indeed, than those of any of the preceding degrees. Symbolically, however, they present one great idea—the truly masonic one—of the laborer seeking for his reward. Throughout all the symbolism of masonry, from the first to the last degree, the search for the WORD has been considered but as a symbolic expression for the search after Truth. The attainment of this Truth has always been acknowledged to be the great object and design of all Masonic labor. Divine Truth—the knowledge of God—concealed in the old Cabalistic doctrine, under the symbol of his Ineffable Name, and typified in the masonic system, under the mystical expression of the True Word, is the reward proposed to every mason who has faithfully wrought his task. It is, in short, the “Master’s wages.”

Now all this is beautifully symbolized in the degree of Royal Master. The reward had been promised, and the time had now come, as Adoniram thought, when the promise was to be redeemed and the true word—divine Truth—was to be imparted. Hence, in the person of Adoniram, or the Royal Master, we see symbolized the speculative mason, who, having labored to complete his spiritual temple, comes to the Divine Master that he may receive his reward, and that his labor may be consummated by the acquisition of Truth. But the temple that he has been building is the temple of this life; that first temple which must be destroyed by death, that the second temple of the future life may be built on its foundations. And in this first temple the truth cannot be found. We must be content with its substitute.

This, then, is the symbolism of the Royal Master’s degree.

The full text of Mackey’s monitorial instructions on the Royal Master degree may be found at:

Royal Master from Mackey’s “Cryptic Masonry: A Manual of the Council”